August 29, 2009

Former Maryland Governor Apologizes for Stance on Same-Sex Marriage

We're posting this because it's just something you don't see every day. The former governor of Maryland, Parris Glendening, issued an apology for opposing same-sex marriage during his time in office (1995-2003). He did so in a very public way, sending a letter for publication in the Baltimore Sun. Here's the text:

Tom Schaller is commended for his thoughtful commentary in the Baltimore Sun regarding marriage equality for same-gender couples ("Md. should be a leader on gay marriage," Aug. 25). While serving as Prince George's County executive and governor of Maryland, I was a forceful advocate for enacting laws that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Despite our successes, however, in addressing employment, housing and public accommodations discrimination against gays and lesbians, I was firm in my statements that I believed "marriage should be between a man and a woman." This was especially true during my 1998 re-election campaign.

I was wrong! Allowing same-gender couples to join in the institution of marriage, and to experience the commitment and security of being legally married, does nothing to diminish or alter the institution of marriage itself. It does, however, promote healthy, stable families.

The freedom to marry is a basic human right. It was during the 1998 campaign, and it certainly is today. Democratic leaders all too often point to incremental progress but actively maintain the status quo because of political sensitivities. They can learn from my personal awakening. Simply put, ending discrimination means ending discrimination in marriage. Maryland should be among the great states in our country that affirm this personal freedom for all our citizens, regardless of whom they love.

Anyone can make a mistake, but it takes a big person to admit it, especially in public where it might actually help change some minds. We commend the former governor for doing so here.

1 comment:

  1. that's really cool that he is owning up to it, he doesn't have to so that's definitely very admirable